Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Quiz Time: Strategy Among Thieves

5 thieves of different ages have a collection of 100 coins.

Between them they decide to split the coins using this scheme:

  • The oldest thief proposes how to share the coins.
  • ALL thieves (including the oldest) vote either for or against it.
  • If 50% or more of the thieves vote for it, then the coins will be shared that way.
  • Otherwise, the thief proposing the scheme will be killed, and the process is repeated with the thieves that remain.

As thieves tend to be cunning, if a thief would get the same number of coins if he voted for or against a proposal, he will vote against so that the thief who proposed the plan will be killed.

Assuming that all 5 thieves are intelligent, rational, greedy, and do not wish to die (and are rather good at math for thieves), what will happen?

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